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Editorial News of Thursday, 26 May 2022


NPP internal elections: Affiliations to the popular 'Brand Bawumia' proving a shrewd campaign tactic for rivals

Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

Three levels of internal NPP elections are already over, and with two more to go before the main flagbearership race next year, a trend, not new in the NPP tradition, has emerged.

The party's jostling for positions, which begins from the grassroots level to the top, is traditionally a prelude to the big flagbearership race, as the popularity of main flagbearership hopefuls are measured.

Campaigning towards the NPP's internal polling station, electoral area, constituency, regional and national executive positions are done with the main flagbearership race in mind, and those seeking these internal positions strategically seek to align their campaigns with "the man of the moment."

It happened when JA Kufuor emerged as the leader of the NPP in the late 90s to lead the NPP to victory in the 2000s. The man of the moment syndrome repeated itself, when Nana Akufo-Addo seemed the popular choice to lead the NPP after President Kufuor prior to his nomination by the party on three consecutive times.

We are here again, and history is repeating itself, our comprehensive on ground analyses have discovered. Except that, this time around, the popular choice is so overwhelming that contesting rivals, both claim affiliations to the "man of the moment".

Unlike in previous internal contests which rival candidates for internal positions pitched their campaigns on the on two leading flagbearership hopefuls, the present NPP internal elections appear one-sided, with leading candidates in various contests all campaigning in solidarity with "the man of the moment", Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

This phenomenon was so overwhelming during the recent constituency elections, where "Bawumia loyalists" contested each other, leaving the DMB camp in total control of majority of constituencies.

Same scenarios are playing out in tomorrow's regional elections, with known Bawumia loyalists as leading contestants in various regions.

For example in one of the hottest regional contests, the two leading candidates for the Northern Regional chairmanship, incumbent Chairman Samba and his main contender, Dagomba Boy, are known Bawumia loyalists, who have been pushing the DMB 2024 agenda.

In the Ashanti Region too, the incumbent Chairman, Wontumi, is a firm believer of DMB 2024 and so is his main challenger, Chairman COKA.

In the Upper North East Region, the two leading candidates, Chairman Nurudeen and Akamara are both adherents of DMB 2024, and so are the two leading contestants in the Upper East Region, Lewyer Anthony and Filson for Upper East.

This unprecedented phenomenon, where leading contestants believe in same presidential aspirants, our sources indicate, cuts across the various positions throughout the regions - which has left delegates in different.

However, despite leading candidates all believing in DMB 2024, some "smart tactics" being adopted by rival candidates, is to smear their opponents as supporting Alan Kyeremateng. It has been established that due to delegates' overwhelming belief in Bawumia across the country, tagging a rival candidate as 'Alan's man' would most likely rile delegates and deny the candidate who has been tagged as belonging to the Alan camp, significant votes.

Ahead of the regional elections, one thing is very clear, regardless of whoever emerges victorious in the regions: DMB 2024 will be the winner, as Team Bawumia will sweep through the positions, just as it did at the constituency level, and the recent United Kingdom branch elections.

The daunting task for Team DMB would be how to manage post election issues to bring all together, especially those who lost out.

The optimism for Team Bawumia, however, is that both camps believe in the ultimate DMB 2024 agenda, and post elections issues may not be as tempestuous and acrimonious as was seen in previous contests involving candidates of rival presidential hopefuls.